Tell me a little bit about yourself. What is your major and year in school? Where are you from?
I’m a senior public relations major, and I spent a lot of time living in Geneva, Ill., though I went to high school in Aurora and my family just moved there. My family is sort of nomadic. I’ve moved dozens of times, but all within the state of Illinois except once.
What is your family like? Do you have any pets?
I’m the oldest of three girls. My sister, Emma, is studying to be a cosmetologist, which is great for me because my hair needs all the help it can get. My youngest sister, Hannah, is a freshman in college. She’s thinking of transferring to DePaul or Columbia next year to study film. We also have a very old and crotchety cat named Fluff and two rescue pups. Izzy is a Lab mixed with what we think is Great Dane, and Riley is a Terrier mixed with who-knows-what.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I honestly don’t have that much free time, but when I do, I enjoy reading blogs, shopping, traveling and anything Disney-related. I’m also a big fan of drinking coffee. In fact, one of my friends once told me, “There are two things I think of when I think of you: coffee and J.Crew.” I took that as a compliment.
How did you get started in public relations?
While I was always sort of intrigued by public relations, I actually transferred to Illinois State University as an acting major. Before ISU, I was a double major in English and art history at Kalamazoo College, a small liberal arts school in Michigan. It was actually a little too small for me, so after my first year I took some time off and worked at Walt Disney World as part of the Disney College Program. After Disney I transferred here. I realized that my main motivation in studying acting was really because I wanted to finally realize my life-long dream of becoming a Disney princess, and as fun as that would be, it’s not a very stable career choice! Public relations caught my attention, so I started researching it, and I guess the rest is history.
What does public relations mean to you?
What I love about this industry is that, as public relations professionals, we really have a chance to shape society. It’s amazing the influence public relations has and how it can shape people’s perceptions. That’s very exciting to me.
If you had a dream job, what would it be and why?
Part of me wants to focus on some of my specific interests, like fashion and digital/social media. Another part just wants to work for certain companies I love, like Disney or Apple. Another part really loves the idea of agency public relations and working my way up in a place like Edelman or GolinHarris. I would have to say that my dream job would be one where I am excited by the work I’m doing. Really, I just want to love my job and be fulfilled by it.
What is the last movie you watched, either in theaters or on DVD?
I went home for the weekend recently and saw “Thor: The Dark World” with my sisters. Little known fact about me: I am a huge comic book nerd, specifically Marvel. I absolutely love the X-Men and the Avengers. I was Black Widow two Halloweens in a row and cannot wait for the Scarlet Witch to make an appearance in Avengers 2. Although I must admit that part of why I love the Thor films so much is Loki – just Google “Tom Hiddleston.” Trust me on this.
If you were stranded on an island and could only take one thing with you, what would it be?
Does this island have digital-signal reception? My iPhone, so I could call someone to rescue me! Or I could Tweet about it, and that would probably help. Hopefully I wouldn’t run out of battery so I could play games and check social media while waiting to be rescued.
If you could go anywhere for spring break this year, where would you go?
I’d absolutely love to go to Japan and visit Tokyo Disneyland with my best friend, Kate. Visiting all the foreign Disney parks is on both of our bucket lists.
Do you have any role models, either in the public relations field or generally?
I have three, actually: a personal role model, a professional role model and an education role model. My personal role model is my mom. She is truly my best friend, is one of the strongest women I know and she supports me no matter what.
Professionally, I guess I have a few. One woman I really look up to is Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts. She is a Midwestern girl like myself who went to Ball State University but is now the highest paid executive in England. In fact, Apple recently hired her to head its retail division, and I love that her career path has combined two of my loves – fashion and technology. In fact, I kind of just want her career. Another professional role model is Jenna Lyons, J.Crew’s creative director. She worked her way up through the company, which I really admire.
My educational role model is Dr. Hayes. I love how much she loves public relations and advertising. Her energy is just infectious, and it makes me want to go out into the world and do great things.
Questions composed by Stacy Sullivan
Parasailing with her dad and sisters in Palm Beach
With PRSSA friends
Abby about to set off on safari!
Jumping for joy at PRSSA National Conference in Philadelphia
With Ariel and one of her best friends, Kate, in Disney World